Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
Shell Malaysian Grand Prix, HRC Repsol Honda Race Report, October 25th 2015
Pedrosa wins and Marquez crashes after unsportsmanlike kick from Rossi
Marc Marquez suffers a crash caused by unsportsmanlike conduct from Valentino Rossi, who endangers the safety of the Repsol Honda Team rider in an absolutely deliberate and reprehensible move.
Dani Pedrosa achieved a great victory today in the Malaysian Grand Prix –a win that was unfortunately overshadowed by the unacceptable and unsportsmanlike conduct of Valentino Rossi against Repsol Honda Team rider, Marc Marquez. On the seventh lap of the race, with Marquez and Rossi immersed in a battle for third place that involved several overtaking moves between the two, the Italian –in an absolutely intentional action– dealt an unsportsmanlike kick to the Repsol Honda rider that knocked him to the ground. Although Marquez was fortunately able to escape unharmed from the attack, for Repsol the conduct of Rossi is absolutely unacceptable because it endangered –in a premeditated and unsportsmanlike manner– the safety of the Repsol Honda team rider. Repsol consider this an unsportsmanlike act incompatible with the values of sport and competition.
Repsol are deeply saddened that situations like that which occurred today in Sepang exist, especially as the company feel proud of sporting values: Companionship, competitive spirit and commitment from riders. Without these values, it would not make sense for Repsol to participate in the sport as a sponsor.
Repsol also call for a clear and strong regulation in the interest of the safety and physical integrity of the riders, which punishes behaviour like that seen today clearly and decisively.
The positive thing about this race was the great performance of Dani Pedrosa, who gradually pulled away from his rivals to score his second win of the season –following that achieved in Japan two weeks ago.
After this race, Marquez remains third in the overall standings with 222 points. Pedrosa moves up to fourth with 190 points. The World Championship will conclude in two weeks’ time, with the Valencia Grand Prix.
“I am very happy because it was a very nice Grand Prix! We had a good feeling from Friday, we were able to manage the weekend well and above all we had a bike that worked very well during every practice. The setup we used at this circuit in February during testing helped me a lot and I’m very happy to take this win for my team, who have been behind me all the way and I feel very sorry for Marc because of what happened to him. I am especially pleased to finish the season very positively, as it has been a hard year but we are now recovering well and we’re in good form. Australia is always the hardest race of the year for me, but that turned out fine and I’m really glad we completed the fly aways like this.”
“We were having a good race up until the incident. At the beginning I made a mistake, but then I regained confidence. Valentino overtook me, I followed him for half a lap, and I saw that I could go faster than him, so I tried overtake him back. We started a fight between us and I always passed without making any contact with him. At Turn 14 he passed me on the inside, I sat the bike up, he kept going straight ahead and I saw him looking at me. I didn’t know what to do. Then he kicked out at me, knocking my brake lever, and I crashed. I will leave the sanction in the hands of Race Direction. All I know is that I scored zero points and ended up in the gravel, but thankfully I’m fine. Both what Valentino said to Race Direction and what he did on the track has made me disappointed. I’ve never seen anything like it: a rider kicking another rider. It might be down to nerves, but I want to try to forget about all this and the important thing is that I’m fine physically. I hope, for the sake of the sport that this ends here.”
Livio Suppo – Team Principal
“For the Repsol Honda Team what happened today is something we never want to see in racing, as it is unacceptable that a rider would intentionally create a dangerous situation causing the crash of another rider. We love motorsport and we like to see riders competing for victory, but there must be a limit and mutual respect of each other.”